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Does iPhone Maps show rest areas?

Yes, iPhone Maps does show rest areas along highways and major interstates. This can be a useful feature for road trippers and long-distance drivers who need to take breaks. Rest areas provide amenities like restrooms, vending machines, and picnic areas. Knowing where rest areas are located in advance can help drivers plan out their route and stops.

How to Find Rest Areas in iPhone Maps

Finding rest areas in the iPhone Maps app is easy. Here are the steps:

1. Open the Maps app on your iPhone.

2. Search for a highway or interstate you will be driving on. You can search by the road name (e.g. “I-95”) or a city the highway passes through (e.g. “I-95 Atlanta”).

3. Zoom in on the highway or interstate. Rest areas will appear as small blue symbols along the road.

4. Tap on a rest area symbol to see the name and get more details like amenities and ratings.

5. You can also search for “rest areas” in the Maps search bar. This will show rest areas near your current location.

What Information is Provided

For each rest area, the iPhone Maps app typically provides the following information:

– Name of the rest area
– Highway it is located off of
– Direction of travel (northbound or southbound, etc.)
– Amenities available – restrooms, vending machines, picnic tables, dog walk area, etc.
– Ratings and reviews from other Maps users
– Photos of the rest area

By tapping on a rest area, you can see all this detail in the popup. This helps you know what to expect when you pull off the highway.

Using Rest Areas in Route Planning

One great feature in iPhone Maps is the ability to add rest areas as stops along your route.

Here is how to do it:

1. Enter your starting point and destination into Maps to generate directions.

2. In your directions, tap the three dots in the upper right corner.

3. Select “Add Stop.”

4. Search for and select a rest area along your route. This will add the rest area as a stop in your driving directions.

5. You can add multiple rest stops this way. Just repeat steps 2-4.

6. When ready, hit “Go” and your directions will now route you through the rest areas.

This is extremely convenient for long road trips. You can plan out rest stops at nice rest areas ahead of time.

Comparing Rest Areas

Not all rest areas are created equal. When you search for rest areas in Maps, you can zoom out to compare amenities and ratings side-by-side.

Some factors to compare:

  • Restroom availability and cleanliness
  • Food options – vending or fast food
  • Picnic and pet areas
  • Safety and security ratings
  • Crowdedness

Using this information, you may choose to route your trip through higher-rated rest areas for a better overall experience.

Rest Areas vs Other Stop Options

Rest areas provide basic amenities for short highway stops. But you may want to consider other types of stops on a long drive:

Stop Type Benefits
Rest Area Restrooms, vending, pet walk areas, short 15-30 min stops
Gas Stations Restrooms, snacks, gas fill ups, 15-30 min stops
Restaurants Bathrooms, hot meals, 45-60 min sit down stops
Tourist Sites Attractions, local culture, 1-2 hour stops

Mixing up the types of stops you make can make for a more stimulating and less monotonous trip. Use Maps to find the most convenient and highest rated options based on your route.

Finding Unlisted Rest Areas

While Maps shows most major rest areas, some smaller or more obscure rest stops may not be listed. If you come across an unlisted rest area on your trip, you can add it to Maps.

Here’s how:

1. When at the rest area, open Maps and drop a pin at your current location.

2. Tap the pin and select “Add Missing Place.”

3. Select “Rest Area” as the category.

4. Add details like the name, highway, amenities available, and your own photos.

5. This will submit the rest area to be added to Maps for other travelers to see.

So if you find that hidden gem of a rest stop, make sure to add it to help out your fellow road warriors!

Rest Areas vs Highway Exits

When planning stops on a road trip, you may wonder about using highway exits instead of rest areas. Here’s how they compare:

Rest Areas Highway Exits
Located right on highway Require exiting highway
Limited amenities Access to gas, food, lodging
Short stops 15-30 mins Can accommodate longer stops
May be spaced far apart Exits more frequent
Less driving time Adds drive time getting off/on highway

As you can see, highway exits provide more amenities and options for longer stops. But rest areas allow you to take a break without adding time off the highway. Choose what works best for each leg of your drive!

Downsides of Rest Areas

While useful, rest areas do have some downsides to consider:

  • Can be crowded during peak travel times
  • Restrooms may be dirty or lack supplies
  • Limited food options – maybe just vending machines
  • Picnic and pet areas may be poorly maintained
  • Some close overnight or during low seasons

Reading ratings and reviews for each rest area on Maps can help identify which ones may be subpar. Also have a backup plan in case you get to one that is closed or uncomfortable.

Rest Area Alternatives

If you come across a rest area that doesn’t meet your needs, here are some alternatives to consider:

  • Use a highway exit instead to get better amenities
  • Adjust your route to hit a different rest area
  • Stop at a gas station, fast food restaurant, or store parking lot
  • Use a mobile app to locate area parks, campgrounds, or other public lands
  • As a last resort, pull off in a safe wide shoulder area

Taking a bit more time to find a suitable rest stop can make your road trip experience much more enjoyable. Maps provides flexibility to modify your route as needed.

Rest Area Safety Tips

While very convenient, rest areas do pose some safety considerations. Here are tips for staying secure:

  • Park in a well-lit area near other cars
  • Lock your doors and close windows
  • Don’t leave valuables visible in your car
  • Keep your keys in hand when walking to restrooms
  • Walk near other people if possible
  • Use common sense entering bathrooms
  • Get in and out quickly; don’t linger if uneasy
  • Use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces

Being alert and following basic precautions can let you safely enjoy the convenience of rest areas. Trust your instincts if a particular rest stop seems risky.

Rest Areas by State

The number of rest areas and amenities available can vary greatly by state. Here is a comparison of a few major differences:

State Rest Area Frequency Amenities
California Frequent Extensive with fast food chains
Texas Moderate Clean but limited
Pennsylvania Very frequent Modern and well-outfitted
Utah Infrequent long distances Scenic but basic

Do a bit of research to know what to expect along your specific route. Less facilities may require more strategic rest stop planning.

International Rest Areas

For international road trips, rest stop options vary:

  • Canada – Well-developed network of rest stops called Travel Centres along major highways.
  • Mexico – Limited official rest areas, but gas stations and stores fill the void.
  • Europe – Frequent decent rest areas and petrol stations with amenities.
  • Australia – Long distances between sparse rest areas lacking facilities.

Confirm rest stop availability along your international route. Carry your own toilet paper and sanitation supplies if needed.

Rest Stop Apps and Resources

Beyond Maps, there are a few other helpful resources for planning rest stops:

  • GasBuddy – Find gas stations along your route.
  • iExit – Crowdsourced app that rates rest areas and highway exits.
  • – Database of all US rest areas with amenity details.
  • State DOT websites – Some provide real-time rest area info and closures.

Having multiple tools can provide extra details and backup options for your pit stops.

Rest Stops on Other Modes of Transportation

Rest areas primarily serve highway drivers. But other transport modes have their own version of rest stops:

Mode Type of Rest Stop
Air travel Airport lounges
Trains Longer station stops
Buses Bus depot stops
Boats Port docking
Biking Parks, benches, cafes
Walking Coffee shops, benches, parks

So remember to factor in rest stops for all your transportation needs!


Having regular rest stops is crucial for any long distance drive. The iPhone Maps app makes it simple to find nearby rest areas, plan rest stops into your route, and get useful amenities and rating details for each location. While rest areas can have some drawbacks, taking advantage of them as part of your road trip strategy can provide convenience, comfort, and security. With some preparation and precaution, rest areas are an essential tool for highway travelers using Maps navigation.